Technology can help your hearing in a range of ways, from testing your hearing at home for free, to linking your hearing aid wirelessly to your mobile phone for hands-free calls.
Play it Down app
The Play It Down app for iPhone is free to download from the iTunes store. It has three major functions. The first lets you test whether the music you are listening to is at a safe volume, or whether you could be causing hearing damage to yourself. The second, which can be fun to share with younger members of the family, plays a song from your phone and lets you hear it through the ears of a 12-year-old child, as well as a 60-year-old adult. The third, and most useful, lets you test your hearing for free. Using the app, you can play a sound, slowly bumping it up and down in frequency to test the limits of your hearing. When you can no longer hear the sound, you can check whether your hearing falls into a healthy range for your age.
The UHear app is another free app which allows you to test your own hearing. It can be a great, free way to test whether you should be making an appointment with a hearing specialist, or whether your family really does just need to stop mumbling.
The BioAid app turns your phone into a hearing aid by processing sounds through the microphone, making them louder, and delivering them to your headphones in real time. While the app is no substitute for a personalised hearing aid, it certainly has the potential to help those who have only just discovered their hearing loss.
Bluetooth and your hearing aid
Bluetooth hearing aid technology can make your life easier in a range of ways. You can link your hearing aid directly to your mobile phone, allowing you to answer calls with the touch of a button and hear the conversation directly through your hearing aid. This gives you the option of hands-free calls, as well as much clearer sound than if you were hearing the conversation first through the phone speaker, then through your hearing aid. Similar Bluetooth technology would allow you to connect to any Bluetooth enabled device, such as a television or digital radio, improving the listening experience.
Bluetooth technology can also allow your hearing aids, should you wear more than one, to communicate with each other, which helps with both locating sounds and in those who have asymmetrical hearing loss(one ear is significantly worse than the other).